If not now, then when? If not you, then who? It’s a great quote from Emma Watson giving a speech delivered on women’s rights to the UN but right now it equally applies to both men and women. If there’s no meat now, then when? If it’s not for us, then for who? We’ve caught up with the two Greek Effies and that recurring theme of the urban hunter gatherer is in full swing, iPads at the ready. I could say that the men hunted down the meat for lunch and the girls gathered the information for tomorrows wine splurge but it’s more of a team effort. Keen to get around the costs of what seems like a very expensive wine tour we plan on looking into a private driver and car for tomorrow along with the more immediate need for meat. With the four of us onto it we’re going to smash it, time to finish up the not so awesome coffee and get into seeing Mendoza.
The day thankfully goes without the horrid heat that came with yesterday, a blanket of light cloud protecting us from being on the human grill. We pop into the wine tours place to pick their brains about what they have to offer and see if it’s worth it. It seems that it’s pretty expensive but we’re nervously not sure if we have the know how to get around it. This calls for more coffee and the Melbourne coffee snobs are in full swing, yes we are shamelessly blaming Melbourne for this. It also turns out that the girls are relaxing a little around us, in preparation for the meat-fest Katie grabs out an apple apparently in need of some fibre. If that wasn’t enough detail the call of the day comes out, allow me to set the scene. Walking the streets, breeze gently ruffling the perfect salon hair these two very pretty girls drop the bombshell that they need fibre as, and I quote, ‘I’ve been pushing out a cow’ since being in Argentina. Did you hear the pin drop? Of course you didn’t because we were all giggling at the jarringly out of place comment. Ladies, hand in your princess tiaras.
After all the giggles subside we bog into a frenzy of web page searches, Trip Advisor comments and all manner of assorted recommendations. This hunting and gathering thing is exhausting, I thought technology was meant to make things easier. Eventually we do settle on a driver, Mauricio who is apparently ‘the wine guy’ of Mendoza and both of his reviews were great, what could possibly go wrong? Gathering done, I step up to the plate and go meat hunting. It seems that the meat window of awesomeness we were denied yesterday is also open for lunch so we have four excited little bunnies and Katie’s cow is mooing up a storm. Bring on the beef; and an orchard full of apples.
This time no amount of weird Latino opening hours trend can stop us, lunch is happening. Although the parrilla (grill) isn’t quite as laden with meat as we saw the other day it’s still pretty full and it might as well all be for us, this is long overdue. We’re not quite sure how this works for a short time but it appears that it’s a buffet. We serve ourselves some salads which is just cheating but we need to ask for meat sliced straight from the parrilla which gets treated with far more reverence than salad. Priorities are in order it seems. And what’s that, do we need to have wine with lunch? Indeed it is deemed a need and not a want, a bottle of Mendoza malbec cannot be avoided.
And the lunch is delicious. We veritably wade through herds of sausage, ribs, chicken, beef, thyroid and we think testicle but who’s counting. I think we all go back for second and third helpings, this is too good to miss out on, a primitive urge overtaking any sense of social politeness. Doused liberally with chimichurri sauce this is by no mens the high brow fame of Argentinian meat and it’s this commonplace setting that grants the great excitement. If this is a pretty standard place and it’s this good we’re in for a heavy time in Argentina. It also turns out that Sophie is going to put off being vegetarian, good idea Effie. The love continues through dessert and by the end there’s not enough apples in the world to push these cows through, sorry ladies, time to be a little less ladylike. For a whopping total of approximately $16AUD each we’d heard that Argentina was a little less expensive than Chile but this is crazy.
With the quartet working like a well oiled machine we have wine sorted for tomorrow, meat and it’s time for a little Argentinian siesta. More pressing matters dealt with we are able to appreciate Mendoza with a clearer mind. The streets are wide, there are trees everywhere offering much needed shade and with a heap of parks and squares it’s a welcoming city to be in. In truth there’s not a particular feeling, style or vibe emerging to us yet, instead it remains a pleasant, easy, comfortable city. From the exciting highs of Valparaiso and Lastarria in Santiago we’re probably a little spoiled, Mendoza a welcome slow down in pace and style if not alcohol consumption yet. Of course there is the contrast of the 1200 or so wineries very nearby, Mendoza presents as a multi faceted beast that we can’t wait to get into.
We sink into a food coma of Argentinian proportions. The town shuts down for siesta like few I’ve seen before, our food binge not an isolated occurrence it seems. We’ve combined forces with the girls in a way to make Emma proud and we’ve absolutely smashed our first day in Argentina out of the stadium. After a tempting arrival we now have the cows and plonk to go with the very big hills. We metaphorically asked Argentina to show us what it got. We have been shown and now Katie’s cow is most definitely mooing. We need a little lie down.